Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rusty Pails #9
Donkeyball

by Rocky Macy

The Sprung Hinge Community Bazaar is an annual doin’s loosed on our town by the ladies of the Sewing Circle and Bucket Brigade. The bazaar, or “bizarre” as me and my buddies call it, is judged successful if it brings more people to town than it chases off.

My share of the load is to run the concession wagon, with the house speciality being my nearly famous “Rustwich.” A brazen blend of baloney and onions sandwiched between thick slices of grilled rye and served up with a good dose of horseradish mustard. For the more daring, we also have the “Rustwich Supreme” which adds a layer of sauerkraut to the original recipe.

A “Rustwich,” says self-appointed food critic Esther Pearl, “is harder to swallow than one of Shadetree Mike’s fish stories. It’s the only food I know that tastes exactly like its name!” And the reviews ain’t always that complimentary!

The entertainment at our most recent bazaar was an evening of donkey softball. Donkeyball, which combines the glamour of mudwrestling with the finesse of roller derby, is a sport that should never be entered into lightly. I pondered that knowledge as Heck and Judge Rufus T. Redbone helped hoist me aboard a four-footed refugee from a mining camp. I knew then that it was going to be some evening!

We were playing the outfield, old “Sudden Death” and me, when he took the notion to amble over to the sidelines. Not wanting to be argumentative, and not knowing how to disembark gracefully, I went along for the ride. Sudden Death rummaged along the ground looking for a snack, while I tried to hang on and watch the game. I should have been watching the donkey!

Some durned fool had dropped a partially eaten Rustwich Supreme on the ground. I caught a glimpse of it as Sudden Death tilted his head and swallowed the treat in one gulp. Then things started to happen!

The old donkey, ears laid back and hooves a-flying, rounded the bases and headed out across the parking lot. The roar of the crowd and the screams of the rider intensified his terror.

I clung tight well into the next county, hoping that Sudden Death would expire before I did. I’ll never know which one of us would have triumphed because a low hanging oak branch jumped up and unceremoniously knocked me from my mount.

I walked back into town two hours later, and no one knows what became of Sudden Death. He should be easy to recognize though – I still have a clump of his mane locked in each fist.

Oh, well. I guess I’m not too old to take up house painting!

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